Example of resting behaviour of the Mediterranean lionfish. The lionfish is observed resting motionless in the shade under a rock ledge, with dorsal spines held flat along the dorsal midline and pectoral fins closed. It is also possible to observe the presence of other Lessepsian species: Sargocentron rubrum, Parupeneus forsskali, Siganus rivulatus and Torquigener flavimaculosus.
Mediterranean lionfish hunting C. chromis. Min 00:20 C. chromis is almost cornered, The lionfish has its pectoral fins flared and directed at the prey, dorsal spines erected and undulating, almost ready to strike. Note how close C. chromis individuals approach the hunting lionfish.
Mediterranean lionfish hunting T. pavo. The lionfish is swimming in search of a potential prey with pectoral fins flared and dorsal fins erected. A potential prey is spotted at 00:06; the lionfish suddenly increases swimming speed and starts the chase. Min 00:22 the prey seems to be almost cornered; the lionfish is blocking the escape routes with the pectoral fins and starts undulating the dorsal spines. However, the potential prey – Thalassoma pavo – escapes (00:30). The lionfish continues the chase. The same T. pavo individual swims towards the lionfish (00:43) before turning away again. The lionfish keeps looking around in search of its prey (min 01:16), until it reappears at 01:30 and the chase resumes.
Mediterranean lionfish feeding on Gobius vittatus. Here, it is possible to see the whole sequence of a successful predation event. From the spotting of the potential prey and the beginning of the chase (min 00:14), to the successful strike (02:09). Note how the pectoral fins of the lionfish are flared to block any possible escape routes of the prey and how the lionfish’s dorsal spines start undulating just before the strike (01:49). Also note how G. vittatus seems to be naïve of the threat posed by the lionfish by moving towards the lionfish at min (00:16) and by relocating only a few cm away from the approaching hunting lionfish at min 00:48, 01:13, 01:32 and 01:40.